There is one very important leading indicator for your real estate business. Many of you did comment that on my last post that it is the most important. I totally agree. And don't just take my word. We have the words of world renouned management consultant Peter Drucker. He says that the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer. Without customers there are no sales or profits. Since most of us agree that customer loyalty is most important let's do a deep dive into customer loyalty and how to create it.
Have you included goals for customer loyalty scores in your strategic plan? Creating a customer is done through a clear message and marketing but keeping a customer is based on performance. Don’t spend all your time on marketing for new customers while neglecting your current customers. A loyal current customer is the cheapest and most effective form of marketing.
A company that says it separates itself from others by service usually does not know what that really means. As an example, it seems that most businesses are focusing on customer satisfaction to determine their customer service measurements. This measurement is flawed and often falls short of actionable expectations.
Companies also make a mistake in the method of measuring the voice of their customer. Asking people to write a rating on social media is MARKETING not measurement. Measurement is consistent, private, and asks for the good, the bad, and the ugly. This gives management a dashboard for continuous improvement.
Satisfaction surveys are unable to predict customer behaviors because they are built on faulty foundations. Many organizations assume that high levels of satisfaction translate into customer loyalty when, in fact, customer satisfaction ratings are more closely linked to your customers’ perceptions of your service attributes rather than to the value gained by those services or your service compared to competition. It is all about the perceived value proposition.
Satisfaction is a measurement of, “I expected it and I got it; therefore, I’m satisfied.” If this were translated into a grading system, satisfaction could easily translate into a grade of “C” on any report card. The desired score is obviously an “A” and A’s always equate to loyal customers. A’s imply that customers got more than they expected, and their expectations were exceeded in some way. Some of you might call this a great client experience. Based on what is truly important to customers, they received more value from you than from your competitors.
Perceived value as defined by customers (as opposed to being satisfied) creates loyal customer relationships, and customer loyalty is the best predictor of your future strength and growth potential. The value you provide to your customers is always compared to the value your competitors provide; therefore, value is your customers’ perception relative to similar services in the marketplace—your competitors!
The best way to create perceived value in the eyes of your customer is to always exceed their expectations.
In summary, create a system to survey every customer on each transaction or service. You will know if you are continuing to exceed expectations and if the measurement starts to fall you can immediately adjust. Loyal customers are your least expensive form of advertising and it can best be summed with the survey question, “How likely are you to recommend or product or service to your friends?” For a similar post on our web site see LOYAL CUSTOMERS WILL LEAD TO FUTURE GROWTH.
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